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Michael Jackson: Can Art be Separated from Artist?

Michael Jackson: Can Art be Separated from Artist?

Wednesday, 13 March, 2019 - 06:15
US pop star Michael Jackson gestures during a news conference at the O2 Arena in London, March 5, 2009. Stefan Wermuth, Reuters
Los Angeles - New York - Asharq Al-Awsat
After the documentary accusing Michael Jackson of sexually abusing children, Jackson's most famous songs are now heard with a taste of the bitter.

The question of whether it is possible to separate the art from the artist is also being posed around one of the most important names in the history of music. The Norwegian Broadcasting NRK was among the first to stop broadcasting Jackson songs for two weeks, the radio announced in Oslo. Radio stations from New Zealand and Canada also took the same decision.

The "King of Pop" title still means the world to some, while others fall deep in dreams when they hear R Kelly's R&B song. People also celebrate Woody Allen's romantic comedy stories, love Kevin Spacey, and consider "Cheap Fiction" by Harvey Winston their favorite movie. The Bill Cosby and Louis C.K. comedy series were two of the best works of that generation.

Should the works of those artists be denied or banned after the sexual abuse accusations and investigations they face? Never, says critic Josephine Livingston, who assures that Woody Allen or Roman Polanski's films are a gift to them and to the world of culture. Livingstone wrote in the New Republic: "I will never give up."

The critic went on to say that it was neither Allen nor Polanski who had the power to analyze their films and the legacy of their art, but the audience.

Livingstone joins French literary critic Roland Bart, who declared "The Death of the Author" in 1967. But Jackson himself was a complete work of art with his braids, shiny white gloves, and amazing dance. The American singer who was born in Gary city, Indiana has acquired a god-like rank among music fans.

His fans feel like that they had accompanied him from childhood in Jackson 5, through the records he attained in the music world.

Wesley Morris of the New York Times sees the connection between Jackson and his fans is distinguished. "This connection is one of many reasons pushing people to refute the Living Neverland documentary, tackling Jackson's accusations of sexual abuse. A decade after his death, his songs have become everywhere, at least in the western culture, where people cite his quotations and imitate him. Jackson still influences the pop world from Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake to Bruno Mars.”

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